Applying The Power of OnLine Metrics to Trade Shows

You can't improve what you can't measure.   So the saying goes, but how do we measure a dynamic face to face event?  Let's take a page from the Google playbook to help us make better decisions, increase effectiveness, and demonstrate how trade shows add value that can't be duplicated by other marketing elements.

Specifically, we'll look at the components of Google Analytics and see how these can be applied to trade shows.  Where Google Analytics tracks visitors' IP addresses, RFID technology tracks booth visits.

Number and Types of Visitors

Web metrics track IP addresses to determine:

  • Number of visits to the site by day/week/month
  • Geographical location, type of browser and language preference
  • First time visitors versus return visitors

Booth analytics via RFID technology, provides

  • Number of visitors to your booth by hour/day
  • Any demographic data available, such as geographical location, title, company, level of purchasing influence and more.
  • First time visitor versus existing contact (by comparing data to your CRM system)

Duration

Web metrics show:

  • Average time spent on the site.
  • Most popular pages and duration of visits to these pages

Booth analytics lets you track:

  • Average time spent at the booth
  • Most popular sections/elements of your booth, which of these generated the longest visits.

Setting Objectives, Analyzing Results

Web metrics allow you to:Google Analytics Goals

  • Set quantitative goals for your web pages
  • Monitor visits regularly so you can compare goals to results and make any necessary changes
  • Adjust your goals and expectations as needed, set up realistic benchmarks based on historical results

With Booth Analytics you can:

  • Create your own goals for the event
  • Monitor visits regularly so you can compare goals to results and make any necessary changes
  • Adjust your goals and expectations as needed, set up realistic benchmarks based on historical results
  • Share executive dashboards and results with team members, senior management

The Key Benefits and Importance of Booth Analytics

By monitoring results regularly, you can identify problems at an early stage and make necessary changes.  You essentially have multiple opportunities to adjust and achieve success during the year.

With numbers to back you up you'll make better, more confident decision-making.  Since you have more information about the attendees at your booth (whether they've engaged with your staff or not) you gain a better understanding of who they are and what they are most interested in.

When you have quantitative data, you can talk the language of the board room, gain higher respect from senior executives and improve your chances for budget approvals.  George P. Johnson's EventView 2009 research concludes that event professionals who provide event measurement and analytics are twice as likely to expect a budget increase.

How have you measured success?  Do you have measurement tips and recommendations to share?

Relevant Links:

Examples of Booth Analytics Reports

Google Analytics blog

EventView 2009 Reports